Video Reviews and News : <i> Recent videocassette releases, reviewed by Times critics.</i>

<i> Compiled by Terry Atkinson</i>



The color scheme at your video store will soon be Christmas red-and-green, but right now the emphasis is on Halloween orange and black. Or maybe blood red. Among the many new trick-or-treat tapes: “Friday the 13th, Part VII--The New Blood” (Paramount, $89.95, R); “Bad Dreams” (CBS/Fox, $89.98, R), a horror thriller about a young woman haunted by memories of cult suicide; “My Best Friend’s a Vampire” (HBO, $79.99, PG), a more lighthearted story starring Robert Sean Leonard; “Terror Train” (Key, $79.98, R), a 1980 film about an all-aboard masquerade party with Jamie Lee Curtis, Ben Johnson and magician David Copperfield; “Jack’s Back” (Paramount, $89.95, R), where J. the Ripper shows up in Los Angeles; “Vampire at Midnight” (Key, $79.98, R) about yet another blood-thirsty psychopath stalking the streets of L.A., and the 1980 spoof “Mama Dracula” (TWE, $79.95, unrated) starring Louise Fletcher.

Less scary new releases: “White Mischief” (Nelson, $89.98, R), in which Sarah Miles, Geraldine Chaplin, John Hurt and others play African colonists amid murder and sexual intrigue; “Tokyo Pop” (Warner, $89.95, R), a cross-cultural comedy with Carrie Hamilton; “Da” (Virgin, $79.95, PG), based on Broadway’s father-son drama; Alan Alda’s “A New Life” (Paramount, $89.95, PG-13) and “Le Grand Chemin” (Pacific Arts, $89.95), a coming-of-age tale that was France’s top-grossing film of 1987.


Also: the musical “Salsa” (Cannon, $89.95, PG), gangster film “Verne Miller” (Nelson, $79.98, R), the downbeat “The Lonely Passion of Judith Hearne” (Cannon, $79.95, R) with Maggie Smith, and--if you didn’t get enough of him in those Olympics-oriented beer commercials--Joe Piscopo stars with Treat Williams in the offbeat cop comedy/thriller “Dead Heat” (New World, $89.95, R).

New oldies but goodies: “The Mountain” (Paramount, $19.95, 1956) with Spencer Tracy and Robert Wagner, “The Rainmaker” (Paramount, $19.95, 1956) starring Burt Lancaster and Katharine Hepburn, “The Spy Who Came in From the Cold” (Paramount, $19.95, 1966) with Richard Burton, and Otto Preminger’s “In Harm’s Way” (Paramount, $29.95, 1965) on two cassettes with John Wayne and Kirk Douglas.

Price reductions: Nelson drops “Defense of the Realm,” “The Ruling Class,” “Inside the Third Reich” and “The Night Porter” to $19.98. Charter lowers “Kiss of the Spider Woman,” “Trouble in Mind,” “Burke and Wills” and Willie Nelson’s “Red-Headed Stranger” to the same price.

Other Videos


Course courses: Paramount has seven new golf-instruction videos, including “Lee Trevino’s Golf Tips for Youngsters” ($24.95) “Greg Norman’s Golf--Vol. 1" ($79.95) and four titles in the new “Classic Golf Experiences” series ($29.95 each).

Fans of New Zealand soprano Kiri Te Kanawa are in luck; she’s featured in two new 60-minute tapes, “Kiri Te Kanawa--Royal Gala Concert” (Kultur, $19.95) and “Kiri Te Kanawa at Christmas” (V.I.E.W., $29.95).

New children’s tapes: Kelly McGillis, Bobby McFerrin and John Malkovich narrate the animated, 23-minute “Santabear’s High-Flying Adventure” (Vestron, $14.98). Denholm Elliott stars in “A Child’s Christmas in Wales” (Vestron, $19.98), a 55-minute, award-winning film based on a Dylan Thomas poem. Look for the new, Kids Klassics versions of “The Velveteen Rabbit,” “Care Bears Nutcracker Suite” and “A Flintstone Christmas,” priced at $10 or less, VHS only. The same company also has the first videocassettes of Nickolodeon’s popular “Double Dare” game--45 minutes and $14.95 each; one of the tapes features the show’s “messiest moments.”

Folk music: “A Vision Shared: A Tribute to Woody Guthrie and Leadbelly,” the 70-minute program shown on Showtime in September and featuring Bob Dylan, Bruce Springsteen and U2 among others, is now on video (CMV, $19.95, VHS only).